Juan Pierre Experiment Not Working Out For Miami Marlins

By Thom Tsang
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Honestly, the Miami Marlins probably should have seen this one coming.

After all of the talent that was dumped this offseason, one of the team’s most noteworthy acquisitions was the signing of Juan Pierre, who the team hoped would give their lineup some measure of stability and leadership at the leadoff spot through his experience as a veteran in the game.

Okay, even if that wasn’t going to happen, his 1.4 fWAR, .307/.351/.371 2012 season with the Philadelphia Phillies suggested that he could at least get on base from time to time for Giancarlo Stanton, right?

Nah. Actually, that’s really more of an emphatic no on all counts.

What Pierre has been thus far can be described very simply, almost as though there’s an elegance to his ineptitude: he is the worst leadoff hitter in MLB today.

That’s easy enough, right?

What, you want some numbers to back it up? How about a .198/.226/.235 triple slash that makes him even one notch lower than Ben Revere, who has a .436 OPS going into Saturday. Want more? Well, the 35-year-old is doing the exact opposite of what he’s supposed to do atop a lineup, striking out at a career-high 12.8 percent and walking at a miserable 1.2 percent.

Yes, the Marlins lineup is absolutely terrible, but at the head of this mess is Pierre, who has either let his age finally catch up to him, or has been brought down by the malcontent and mediocrity that surrounds the Marlins franchise.

In fact, at -0.6 fWAR accumulated over 86 PA, the only thing you could even call a positive in the Marlins’ leadoff man might just be the fact that well … it could actually get worse.

See, despite being already the worst player on a very poor team thus far, Pierre is at least leading this Miami squads in steals with five on the season and runs scored with nine. So his legs are still working just fine, even though the bat might be sputtering right now on this ill-advised $1.6 million experiment.

But hey, at least Placido Polanco is hitting .288/.345, right?

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